President Akufo-Addo on Sunday pledged his government’s commitment to increase the contribution of the solar energy to the country’s energy-mix.
Delivering a speech at the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance held in New Delhi, India, the President was concerned that despite the abundance of sunshine in Ghana, solar energy only contributes 1% to the energy mix, as opposed to 59% from fossil fuels and 40% from hydro.
He therefore assured that “on the basis of my country’s specific needs, Government is keen on developing utility-scale solar energy projects, as well as accelerating the development of mini-grid solutions in off-grid and island communities for lighting, irrigation and other economic activities”.
Addressing the government’s pledge to supplement the national grid with solar energy, Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper Kwesi Pratt noted on Peace FM’s "Kokrokoo" that the initiative is long overdue.
According to him, Ghana should have by now installed solar panels to harvest the sun and exploit it to the benefit of Ghanaians in order to resolve the energy challenges.
He wondered how foreign countries where the consumption of sun is unavailable are utilizing solar energy but Ghana, with over 75% of sunshine, didn’t come to the realization of the significance of solar energy till date.
In supporting the President’s call for the introduction of solar energy to augment the national grid, Mr. Pratt, in an openly unpleasant and carping remark, took a swipe at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
He questioned the University’s authorities and students' research capabilities asking “what happened to the Science and Technology?”
To him, KNUST should have been able to make solar panels and proposed the use of solar energy to government by now, but it appears they are not making their research in the field of Science and Technology useful to the growth of the energy sector.
“We have a University of Science and Technology which is more than 50 years but in the entire nation, we can’t construct a battery and solar panel…This is extremely disturbing…What happened to the Science and Technology?” the Senior Journalist barbed.
Mr. Pratt however tasked President Akufo-Addo and his government not to renege on their decision to use solar energy.